Her daughter is dressed up as a fairy princess, twirling about in pastel shades of pink and blue. But there’s no happily ever after to this tale yet.
The girl is one of several whose Christmas this year will be spent in the Women’s Shelter.
It is the time of year when families come together around a Christmas tree, singing songs of love and joy. But for this family, that ideal is out of reach. The dreams of a perfect family have come apart because of domestic violence. Mom is left to try and put together a new and stable home for her and the children at a time of year when family means everything.
“I want to go to MAC,” the mother said, “and get a nursing degree. I want to make a career for myself, a home for me and my kids. I want to have reliable transportation … First I have to get a job and pass the GED.”
Mom has put in 16 applications for various minimum wage positions in the area, but has only had one call back for an interview. “I have an interview tomorrow with a restaurant,” she said, taking a deep and anxious breath. “I really hope it goes well.”
Mother and daughter have made a Christmas wish list out for Santa Claus.
“She wants everything she sees of course,” the mother said. “She likes all the stuff any little girl likes. Tinkerbell, Dora the Explorer. My Little Pony. I told her she’s not going to get everything on that list.”
In fact, right now, anything on that list is just one more of the many things out of Mom’s reach. That is why the Women’s Shelter is turning to the community for help.
“Children often enter the shelter without anything but the clothes they are wearing,” said Carla Crocker, executive director of the SEMO Family Violence Council. “So we give each child who comes in a toy, something to call their own from the moment they arrive. We also give toys out as rewards for good report cards and good behavior.”
Saturday, there will be an easy way to contribute to the cause. The annual J98 Auffenberg Toy Drive is from 2 until 6 p.m. Saturday at the Farmington Walmart. Just bring a new, unwrapped toy to the drive and drop it off.
Boom. It’s that simple to become a hero.
If you are unable to make that time frame, toys and hygiene products may also be dropped off at the Auffenberg Chevrolet dealership in Farmington. Equally simple.
“Please help us make sure that each child who lives in the shelter this Christmas has a toy under the tree,” Crocker said.
In the last 12 months, the shelter has served more than 270 children. “We anticipate serving 25 percent more in the next year,” Crocker added.
Questions about the drive or specific children’s needs may be addressed to the SEMO Family Violence Council at 358-3913 or to Tim Morgan at Auffenberg 756-5776.
Toy Drive for SEMO Family Violence Council
2- 6 p.m. Farmington Walmart
Bring a new unwrapped toy